AMD catching up to Intel in retail

Though Intel supplies close to half of the processors for computers in the retail market, its grip seems to be slipping.

Michael Kanellos Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.
Michael Kanellos
2 min read
Though Intel supplies close to half of the processors for computers in the retail market, its grip seems to be slipping.

Computers containing Intel processors accounted for 54.3 percent of retail sales in August, according to Matt Sargent, computing analyst with Computer Intelligence. This is a drastic drop from the same month a year ago when Intel-based PCs accounted for 84.3 percent of retail sales.

Much of the lost market share was picked up by Advanced Micro Devices and the processor companies that supply chips for Apple's iMac.

The Top Retail PCs for August
Rank Maker Processor Price
1. HP Pavillion 6330 K6-2
2. Compaq Presario 5030 Pentium II
300 MHz
3. Presario 2256 K6-2
300 MHz
4. Presario 5020 Celeron 300 MHz $1,060
5. Apple iMac Power PC 233 MHz $1,299
6. IBM Aptiva K6-2
300 MHz
7. Packard Bell M730 Cyrix MII
Source: Computer Intelligence

Moreover, the loss in retail sales isn't coming on the fringes of the market, Sargent added. The Hewlett-Packard Pavilion 6330, powered by an AMD 300-MHz K6-2 processor, topped sales charts for August, he said. Another computer powered by the 300-MHz K6-2, the Compaq Presario 2256, ranked third in sales--and a 300-MHz K6-2 from IBM came in sixth.

The iMac from Apple, which was the most expensive computer in the top seven at $1,299, ranked fifth with buyers, while a Packard Bell system using the MII processor from Cyrix, a division of National Semiconductor, came in seventh.

A poll last month from PC Data ranked the iMac as the second-best-selling retail computer. However, the PC Data poll also ranked the Pavilion 6330 as the darling of the party.

Intel only placed two computers in the top seven. The Compaq Presario 5030 running a 300-MHz Pentium II ranked second in sales while the Presario 5020 with a 300-MHz Celeron from Intel came in at No. 4. The figures only included retail sales, said Sargent. They do not include sales from mail-order or direct marketing companies such as Dell.

"AMD and Cyrix grew their market share quite dramatically," Sargent said.

As for desktop vendors, Sargent added that HP's surge in retail is a new trend. "HP has gotten aggressive," but "Compaq's prices actually rose a bit. They don't feel as much pressure from Packard Bell," he said.

PC Data said that Compaq kept its top spot in retail with a 30.9 percent share, but noted that HP surged to No. 2 with a 23.2 percent cut.

Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network, publisher of News.com.